Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with dozens of commitment predictions and a look at how several SEC East classes missed the mark.
1. RIVALS100 COMMIT PREDICTIONS
Okay, Wednesday is the big day, so let’s get down to it. Here are my predictions for the remaining 14 uncommitted prospects in the Rivals100.
DT Marvin Wilson (No. 2) – LSU. I'm sticking with this prediction, although it wouldn't shock me at all if Florida State or Ohio State was the pick.
DT Aubrey Solomon (No. 31) – Alabama. Michigan is the trending pick. USC is certainly not out of it, but beating the Crimson Tide for a Southeast player they covet is tough.
DT Jay Tufele (No. 37) – USC. Utah really needs to keep him home but USC is the brand.
WR Devonta Smith (No. 42) – Alabama. The Crimson Tide have been the leader for Smith forever and a late push holds off a charging Florida State and in-state LSU.
DE LaBryan Ray (No. 45) – Alabama. The Gators seem confident, but it would be a stunner if Ray didn't end up with the Tide.
WR Joseph Lewis (No. 50) – USC. Calibraska is going strong, but Lewis stays home.
ATH Deommodore Lenoir (No. 54) – Oregon. He just fits what the Ducks want so well and he’s always liked them.
WR Jeff Thomas (No. 57) – Miami. A great recruiting job and a great visit should land Thomas at Miami.
LB Willie Gay (No. 73) – Mississippi State. He's a local prospect looking at others, especially LSU, but he stays home.
OT Austin Jackson (No. 77) – USC. He’s always been a lean that way so it would be very surprising if he went elsewhere.
LB Levi Jones (No. 79) – Florida State. A great final visit was all that was needed to wrap this up.
DB Elijah Blades (No. 87) - Nebraska. The last, and perhaps best, piece of the Calibraska 2017 movement? This kid could be special.
DB Chevin Calloway (No. 92) – Arkansas. The Razorbacks have been his team to beat since he decommitted from Iowa.
WR Danny Davis (No. 98) – Wisconsin. The Badgers have done a great job staying consistent with Davis and could pull what I consider is an upset over Kentucky ace recruiter Vince Marrow in Ohio.
2. MORE COMMITMENT PREDICTIONS
Here are a few more commit predictions.
WR James Robinson (No. 105) – UCF or JUCO. Not many schools view him as a take after the Ohio State debacle, so this will be interesting.
DE K’Lavon Chaisson (No. 110) – Texas. Tom Herman lands a key in-state prospect that can jump start things to next recruiting cycle.
DE Jarez Parks (No. 118) – Alabama. The Crimson Tide doesn’t have room for all these guys, so I’ll hedge my bets here and say they take him if they miss on Solomon and Mathis.
WR Nico Collins (No. 120) – Michigan. The tide has flipped back to the Wolverines here.
WR Mike Harley (No. 123) – Miami. The worst kept secret in recruiting this year.
WR Henry Ruggs (No. 125) – Alabama. An in-state kid who is coveted will not get away.
OL Tedarrell Slaton (No. 129) – Florida. This is a big get for the Gators down the stretch at a position of need.
DT Phidarian Mathis (No. 151) – LSU. Alabama made a push but he stays home.
WR Bryan Thompson (No. 153) – Utah. A very good get for the Utes who are having a quietly good class.
DB Todd Harris (No. 166) – LSU. A prospect who calls a press conference to commit to his teammates doesn’t leave the state.
3. GLARING MISSES IN THE SEC EAST
Some teams in the SEC East will finish very highly in the Rivals.com Team Rankings, but aside from Georgia, I see some glaring misses in a few of those classes.
Tennessee missed out its top three in-state prospects. South Carolina's class doesn't have any prospects with size and plus athleticism; the loss of Hamsah Nasirildeen was a tough one and losing Jamyest Williams would be a killer.
I also think Florida's class will be a flop. It looks like the Gators could finish as high as the top 15 in the team rankings, but they have just missed on too many players they once led for and have had too many decommitments. Florida closing the 2017 recruiting cycle by poaching commitments from Group of Five schools and beating out Arizona State, Arkansas and TCU for four-star defensive backs may move the rankings needle, but doesn’t impress me a ton.
The way recruiting has gone at Florida has been disappointing to me. This program should always recruit at a top 10 level, yet the Gators have finished finished No. 14 (2016) and No. 23 (2015) over the last two years, and its doubtful they will crack the top 10 in 2017. From 2008-14, Florida's average team ranking finish was 6.14. Its three-year average under Jim McElwain, even the Gators push into the top 15 this year, will be around No. 17. That's not great based on the product being sold and the fact that coaches such as Kirby Smart and Mark Richt have had better success in their first seasons at Georgia and Miami.